Research Topic

Fidelity of Primary Records of the Earth's Magnetic Field

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About this Research Topic

Knowledge about the capability of rocks to retain information about the magnetic field in which they formed goes back to the middle 19th century. The observation of thermoremanent magnetization in lavas from Mount Vesuvius in 1853 by Melloni is an example of this kind of pioneering findings. Studies like this ultimately gave birth to paleomagnetism as a field of study, one that has contributed to major achievements in Earth´s science such as the theory of plate tectonics and the magnetic polarity time scale.

Paleomagnetic records contain an even wider spectrum of information such as the paleointensity of Earth´s field recorded in volcanic rocks and sediments and in tiny wiggles of marine magnetic anomalies, terrane rotations and even the magnetic field of the early solar system recorded in meteorites. Assessing the degree of accuracy with which geologic phenomena are magnetically recorded will be a necessary key to explore all the possible kinds of records contained in paleomagnetic data and the level of detail with which they are recorded. This will involve improving our understanding of the magnetic recording mechanism in rocks. For instance, knowledge about the recording process in sediments is still incomplete. Further knowledge in this respect will involve coping with the overwhelming complexity of natural magnetic minerals and of geologic processes occurring during and after the acquisition of a primary magnetization.

In this Research Topic, we encourage the submission of case studies, as well as systematic investigations and models that help assessing the fidelity of primary records of planetary fields with particular regard to (1) effects generated by anisotropy, inclination shallowing, and delayed acquisition in sediments, (2) tectonic processes such as crustal block rotations and translations, (3) mineral alteration and remagnetization, (4) true polar wander, and (5) non-dipolarity of the field.


Keywords: Primary magnetization, crustal rotations, remagnetization, paleointensity, paleosecular variation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Knowledge about the capability of rocks to retain information about the magnetic field in which they formed goes back to the middle 19th century. The observation of thermoremanent magnetization in lavas from Mount Vesuvius in 1853 by Melloni is an example of this kind of pioneering findings. Studies like this ultimately gave birth to paleomagnetism as a field of study, one that has contributed to major achievements in Earth´s science such as the theory of plate tectonics and the magnetic polarity time scale.

Paleomagnetic records contain an even wider spectrum of information such as the paleointensity of Earth´s field recorded in volcanic rocks and sediments and in tiny wiggles of marine magnetic anomalies, terrane rotations and even the magnetic field of the early solar system recorded in meteorites. Assessing the degree of accuracy with which geologic phenomena are magnetically recorded will be a necessary key to explore all the possible kinds of records contained in paleomagnetic data and the level of detail with which they are recorded. This will involve improving our understanding of the magnetic recording mechanism in rocks. For instance, knowledge about the recording process in sediments is still incomplete. Further knowledge in this respect will involve coping with the overwhelming complexity of natural magnetic minerals and of geologic processes occurring during and after the acquisition of a primary magnetization.

In this Research Topic, we encourage the submission of case studies, as well as systematic investigations and models that help assessing the fidelity of primary records of planetary fields with particular regard to (1) effects generated by anisotropy, inclination shallowing, and delayed acquisition in sediments, (2) tectonic processes such as crustal block rotations and translations, (3) mineral alteration and remagnetization, (4) true polar wander, and (5) non-dipolarity of the field.


Keywords: Primary magnetization, crustal rotations, remagnetization, paleointensity, paleosecular variation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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